By: Yankuba Manneh
One of The Gambia’s longest serving opposition figures Hon. Halifa Sallah has explained reasons why his People’s Democratic Organisation for Independence and Socialism (PDOIS) did not take part in any coalition deal for the 2021 Presidential race at a presser held on Thursday October 28th 2021.
The veteran politician and standard bearer for PDOIS said his party refused any coalition talks for the upcoming 2021 Presidential elections with Parties whose ideologies do not align with them, maintaining that for PDOIS to go into any possible tactical alliance, it must be convinced by the ‘tactical objectives’ of changing the socio-economic status of Gambians and addressing essential issues of fundamental value, not just for a coalitions sake.
“So what is our agenda for 2021? It’s to bring all parties together to select anyhow and whoever is selected we support that person to effect regime change and end up having the same results as 2016. Will history forgive us?,” Hon. Sallah interrogated with deep concern.
He however continued to lament the failure of the Coalition 2016 agenda, which ended a brutal military regime and restored civilian democracy supported by all parties in a coalition to bring about the much needed change for Gambian citizens.
But he said all those efforts were nipped in the bud after the change of regime; an experience that has left a bitter taste in their mouth and increased their determination to change approach and objective of coalition agreements.
“Coalition 2016 should serve as a lesson to shape the future. Essentially it was a coalition were we selected anybody who will be able to serve as flag bearer so that our combined strength will remove the incumbent from power. That was the objective which has been attained,” he explained while addressing the press.
Sallah however outlined that, giving the experience of coalition 2016, PDOIS has come up with a tactical objective that will be rooted in putting an end to poverty, injustice and ignorance. He also underscored the importance of rural development providing clean water, electricity and good road networks.
The PDOIS leader stated that their objective for liberating rural villages on all fronts is to introduce cooperative banking where the monies generated will be ploughed back to them in the form of development projects and equally charged Gambians to elect a candidate whose agenda reflects their needs and aspirations as power resides in the citizenry.